If there is one thing I’ve learned over time, it’s that small talk can become bigger than just talk. From simple conversations while standing in line at the grocery store to picking up prints at my print shop. Small talk has landed opportunities.
Now I’m not saying to step up and start offering your services to everyone you talk to. What I’m saying is to pay attention, really listen to people and be patient. Give it time and trust me a conversation will take place and you’ll be able to work your magic. And magic is exactly what happened with the client example I'm sharing with you today.
Let’s travel back to 2014 shall we?
I will never forget being handed a black and white page of heavy text and asked if I like craft beer. The flyer was filled with great information but the artist inside me immediately started dreaming of how I could make it better. After asking if the beer fest was working with an artist, I was directed to contact one of the organizers.
With the flyer and contact information in hand, I decided to pretend they were already my client and use this as an exercise to practice layout and lettering. After chalking the idea I reached out to open a conversation with the event organizers to find out more about the upcoming festival.
I introduced myself and asked more questions about the event by starting with the below email.
My name is Kim and I am a local hand lettering artist and illustrator. I spoke with a gentleman yesterday and he gave me your contact information along with information about the upcoming beer fest this fall. I wanted to touch base with you and see if you are currently working with an artist for the event. I had asked if you had a promotional poster for the event and was directed your way. I would love the opportunity to chat with you in regards to poster art. I think it could be a huge hit!
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Hi Kim, thanks for getting in touch.
We are currently looking into a poster design. We had a logo designed and originally intended using the logo with just text info around it.
Let me ask the decision makers and get back to you.
Sounds good. Thanks for the speedy response.
The next day I decided to share what I had been working on so they had a visual.
This is the idea I had in my head. This is 100% traditional chalk. It gives a wonderful Old World flair to the piece which is right in line with good beer!
This could very easily be turned into an amazing promotional piece. Just wanted to give you something to share with the decision makers.
Have a wonderful weekend!
This is absolutely AWESOME! How much would it cost?
And this is how the conversation evolved…
They bought the piece framed and hired me to create print files of the artwork for promotional posters. Total Win! Wouldn't you say?
I've gone on to create the promo poster for them every year, this year being my 5th, and I accomplished this by following the below points. Oh and...Curious about past posters? I've included all five posters at the bottom of this article!
TIPS FOR FREELANCERS TO BUILD TRUST AND GET MORE CLIENT WORK
BE COURAGEOUS. It took a ton of courage on my part to send the email asking questions but I did it and so can you. Don't let your inner introvert hold you back. Be courageous and speak up.
BELIEVE IN YOU! I really had to believe in myself, my work and my abilities. Had I doubted myself I would have never reached out. The first person to believe in your work has to be yourself. So believe in you with all of you.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. I can't tell you how long I sat with my finger hovering over Send when I decided to share the image of what I had been working on with the event organizers. I finally said to myself, "What's it going to hurt? Put yourself out there." The worst they can say is No." Remember, You'll never hear a Yes unless you ask. So start asking.
BE HELPFUL. Come to the table with a solution by sharing how your skills can help elevate a project. When a client can see how they can benefit from working with you they will be all the more apt to bring you into the fold.
SHARE WHAT YOU WANT. Explain how you would like to help out. I shared what I had created and then went a step further and explained how the artwork could become a promotional poster for the event and that's exactly what I ended up doing.
DON'T GIVE UP. If they come back with a No. That's OK too. No doesn't mean you're horrible or lack talent. In many cases it just means they don't need your services at the moment. Don't let a No crush your confidence.
So there you have it. I went from small talk to client all because I was courageous, believed in myself, put myself out there, I told others what I wanted to accomplish and was helpful.
This strategy may sound scary to you and I get it. But I've found that speaking up, sharing my work and hitting the send button gets easier and easier every time.
I love to help others and I'm pretty sure you do too. You never know who you might help by sharing a simple article. Help spread the love and give this post wings by giving it a share on your favorite social network!
Keep me posted on how this article helps you push towards your next client.